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New home sales reverse course, pick up in April

Good news for spring buying season

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New home sales picked back up in April after March’s drastic drop, posting a seasonal adjusted annual rate of 433,000 and coming in higher than analyst expectations, according to the Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

This is 6.4% above the revised March rate of 407,000, but is still 4.2% down from last year’s estimate of 452,000.

The median sales price of new houses sold in April was $275,800, with the average sales price reaching $320,000.

“Sales of new homes have been choppy over the last year but appear to have settled in on a firm footing,” said Quicken Loans vice president Bill Banfield. “With improved interest rates and more inventory available in the marketplace for purchase, new home sales may continue to trend upward.”

In addition,  the seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of April was 192,000, representing a 5.3-month supply.  

This is slightly down from the 6-month supply in March. 

Compared to existing home sales that show a sudden swelling in supply, supply on the new home side remains scarce and will remain a negative for sales, analysts with Econoday said. 

"Supply was hardly changed on the month, at 192,000 units for sale, while supply at the current sales rate fell to 5.3 months from March's 5.6 months. The new home market got an April bounce but against a very weak March," Econoday added. 

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